Thursday, March 26, 2009

Efficient use of strength

I am not against the use of strength, rather I want to explore and develop its efficient use.

When technique is refined and application is sensitive it can be surprising how little force is needed to execute a technique successfully.  Conversely, if you find yourself straining to perform a technique, there is usually a failure of technique or sensitivity that you are trying to compensate for with additional "brute" strength.

Here are some inefficient uses of strength:
  1. Opposing a push with a push (as in an arm-wrestle)
  2. Opposing  a pull with a pull (as in a tug of war)
  3. Tensing up (so that our own muscles fight each other)
  4. Relying on isolated muscles groups (local strength)
  5. Mis-using levers (e.g. trying to open a door by pushing/pulling near the hinge)
  6. Unnecessary lifting
Here are some ideas that can help increase efficiency:
  1. Accept a push, and use it to help power a pull or a turn
  2. When pulled, press forward on  a diagonal
  3. Use whole body strength to power movements: The large muscles (legs, buttocks, abdomen) supply most of the power, and the whole body conveys it to the point(s) of application
  4. Push or pull in directions where your opponent can muster the least resistance; e.g. when standing push or pull perpendicular to the line connecting the feet
  5. Get your opponent into a position of serious disadvantage before applying significant force 
  6. Apply a two-way "push-pull" action
  7. Use a weight-drop to add additional power
See whether you can find places where you are using strength inefficiently and see what else you can do instead.  Practice the techniques to increase efficiency individually and in combinations.


Sue C said...

As usual you come up with some good advice and some useful tips...thanks.